Doug Soldat


Doug Soldat – Professor

Turfgrass, urban soils, nutrient management, water resources, soil testing, landscape irrigation.

UW-Madison, Department of Soil Science
1525 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1299, USA
Office: 245 King Hall

Phone: 608.263.3631
Fax: 608.265.2595

Turfgrass Web site:

Program Affiliations

  • Department of Soil Science
  • Department of Horticulture


  • B.S. Soil Science, 2001, University of Wisconsin
  • M.S. Soil Science, 2003, University of Wisconsin
  • Ph.D. Horticulture, 2006, Cornell University

Teaching and Research Overview

In the fall, I teach Soil Science/Horticulture 332: Turfgrass Nutrient and Water Management – a course that addresses the principals and practical aspects of nutrient and water management for future professionally managed turfgrass areas such as golf courses, athletic fields, and sod farms. In addition, the course covers environmental aspects of turfgrass management such as the fate of applied nutrients and the role of irrigation management in limiting nutrient losses from the root zone.

Research program overview:

Turfgrass accounts for a large percentage of the pervious area in urban/suburban areas. According to a recent study, in Wisconsin, turfgrass accounts for acreage equivalent to that of soybeans. Additionally, turfgrass area is expected to grow as urban and suburban areas continue to expand in Wisconsin and throughout much of the US. These facts draw attention to the importance of understanding the effect of turfgrass and its management on the environment. One primary goal of my research program is to identify water and nutrient management strategies for turfgrass areas that promote healthy turfgrass and minimize the loss of water and nutrients from the root zone. Current research projects include:

  • Evaluation of use of biosolids for improving the economics and environmental sustainability of sod production
  • Analysis of the uptake and utilization of fall-applied nitrogen fertilizer to turfgrass in cool temperatures.
  • Evaluation of a water harvesting/drip irrigation system for turfgrass irrigation
  • Use of 18O-labeled phosphate as an environmental tracer to determine soil microbial metabolic rates
  • Use of plant growth regulators to decrease the fertilizer requirement of golf course putting greens

Extension and outreach activities:

My extension program aims to provide research-based information on implementing economically and environmentally sustainable turfgrass management strategies to homeowners, professional turfgrass managers, sod growers, lawn care providers, and county extension agents among others. Every year, I am involved with planning and coordination of separate summer field days for homeowners and turfgrass professionals at the O.J. Noer Turfgrass Research and Education Facility, as well as a winter Turfgrass and Greenscape Exposition, attended by several hundred turfgrass professionals and industry members annually. In addition, my program provides online and face-to-face training for turfgrass managers affected by recent DNR regulations which require nutrient management plans for fertilized turfgrass areas over 5 acres in size.

Selected Publications

Obear, G.R., P. Barak, and D.J. Soldat. 2016. Soil inorganic carbon accumulation in sand putting green soils II: Acid-base relationships as affected by water chemistry and nitrogen source. Crop Sci. 56:851-861.

Johnson, S., D. Cardona, J. Davis, B. Gramling, C. Hamilton, R. Hoffman, S. Ruis, D. Soldat, S. Ventura, and K. Yan. 2016. Using community-based participatory research to explore soil lead concentrations in urban neighborhoods. Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action. 10(1):9-17.

Obear, G.R., and D.J. Soldat. 2016. Soil inorganic carbon accumulation in sand putting green soils I: Field relationships between climate, irrigation water quality, and soil properties. Crop Sci. 56:452-462.

Watkins, E., D.S. Gardner, J.C. Stier, D.J. Soldat, R.A. St. John, N.E. Christians, et al. 2014. Cultivar performance of low-input turfgrass species for the North Central United States. Applied Turfgrass Sci. 11(1):1-7.

Obear, G.R., and D.J. Soldat. 2014. Saturated hydraulic conductivity of sand-based putting green root zones affected by sodium. Soil Sci. 179:376-382.

Obear, G.R., A.E. Hartemink, and D.J. Soldat. 2014. Soils with iron-cemented layers on golf courses in the USA. Geoderma 232-234:198-207,

McMillan, M. F., S. Kostka, T. Boerth, M. Fidanza, C. Bigelow, J. Cisar, D. Soldat, I. Karas, and K. Williams. 2013. Monitoring seasonal soil water repellency in USA golf course putting greens. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 12:815-818.

DeBels, B.T., and D.J. Soldat. 2013. Evaluation of six subsurface drip irrigation configurations for turfgrass in the Midwestern USA. Int. Turfgrass Soc. Res. J. 12:53-60.

Melby, E.S., D.J. Soldat, and P. Barak. 2013. Biological decay of 18O-labeled phosphate in soils. Soil Biol. Biochem. 63:124-128.

Melby, E.S., D.J. Soldat, and P. Barak. 2013. Preferential soil sorption of oxygen-18 labeled phosphate. Commun. Soil Sci. Plant Anal. doi 10.1080/00103624.2013.800100

Soldat, D.J., and C. Bigelow. 2013. Soil physical properties and soil amendments. In Stier et al. (ed.), Agronomy Monograph 56, Turfgrass: Biology, Use, and Management. ASA-CSSA-SSSA, Madison, WI.

DeBels, B.T., S.E. Griffith, W.C. Kreuser, E.S. Melby, and D.J. Soldat. 2012. Evaluation of mowing height and fertilizer application rate on visual quality and weed abundance of five home lawn grasses. Weed Technol. 26:826-831.

Kreuser, W.C., and D.J. Soldat. 2012. Creeping bentgrass putting green Mehlich-3 soil test phosphorus requirements. Crop Sci. 52:1385-1392.

Kreuser, W.C., and D.J. Soldat. 2012. Frequent trinexapac-ethyl applications reduce nitrogen requirements of creeping bentgrass golf putting greens. Crop Sci. 52:1348-1357

Bauer, S., D.T. Lloyd, B.P. Horgan, and D.J. Soldat. 2012. Fate of fall-applied nitrogen fertilizer to cool-season turfgrasses: A review. Crop Sci. 52:1-10.

Kussow, W.R., D.J. Soldat, W.C. Kreuser, and S.M. Houlihan. 2012. Evidence, regulation, and consequences of nitrogen-driven demand by turfgrass. ISRN Agronomy. Article ID 359284. doi:10.5402/2012/359284.

Lloyd, D.T., D.J. Soldat, and J.C. Stier. 2011. Low-temperature nitrogen uptake and use of three cool-season turfgrasses under controlled environments. HortScience. 46:1545-1549.

Stier, J.C., and D.J. Soldat. 2011. Lawns as a source of nutrients runoff in urban environments. Watershed Science Bulletin. 2(1):44-51

Kreuser, W.C., and D.J. Soldat. 2011. A growing degree day model to schedule trinexapac-ethyl applications on Agrostis stolonifera golf putting greens. Crop Sci. 51:2228-2236.

Melby, E.S., D.J. Soldat, and P. Barak. 2011. Synthesis and detection of oxygen-18 labeled phosphate. PLoS One 6(4): e18420; doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018420

Kreuser, W.C., M. Fish, D.J. Soldat, and A. Hollman. 2011. Removing sand from putting green clipping samples substantially reduces clipping weight measurement error. Crop Sci. 51:1268-1273.

Pease, B.W., E.J. Koeritz, J.C. Stier, and D.J. Soldat. 2011. Nitrogen source and rate effects on velvet bentgrass putting green turf. Crop Sci. 51:342-352.